Using an External Meeting Facilitator for your business meetings

Why should you consider using an external meeting facilitator for your key business meetings?

How many poorly prepared and delivered strategic business meetings have you participated in over the years? Often times, your colleagues and you have travelled incurring substantial costs from different locations to come together for workshops, away days, strategy or kick off sessions sometimes even involving clients. You have all invested your time to convene and yet the session does not deliver the results you had hoped for and therefore the outcomes and the impact for the business are not what they could be. As a result, it all can feel like a major waste of time. In our experience, this can frequently be assigned to a lack of strong facilitation based on good meeting planning. This is where an external meeting facilitator can really make a difference.

Hiring an external facilitator could really make a difference to your key meetings – why is this?

  • They work with you to prepare your agenda and focus on the key outcomes that you want to achieve.
  • With your input, they ensure all presenters or speakers are briefed and stick to point.
  • They facilitate the meeting on the day, allowing you to focus on the discussions in the room and being part of the meeting, rather than worrying about how best to manage the meeting.
  • They keep track of time and check in with you on a regular basis to ensure that you are spending the time that you want on the key issues as they come up during the day’s discussions.
  • Finally, they can also work with you on the meeting output to ensure that everything is captured and communicated the way you want to within good time ensuring the meeting has the impact you want it to have.

What do you look for when you are hiring an external facilitator to facilitate your meeting?

Even if you do decide to have an external meeting facilitator for your session, it can be hard to engage the right one for you. We thought it would be helpful to share some useful tips to help you with this.

  • When looking for an external meeting facilitator, it is really helpful if the facilitator has strong commercial experience. Sector and detailed industry knowledge is not necessarily needed. It is more important that they have good experience of group facilitation and of working with clients to achieve their outcomes.
  • Ask for testimonials from other clients or to speak to previous clients to see if it works for you and if it is a good fit – what types of companies and industries have they worked with? What subjects and areas of expertise do they have? Have they worked with an international participant group before?
  • Organize an initial introductory call with them, to discuss their experience, your requirements and budget.
  • Request a written proposal from them and agree the scope and costing.
  • Make sure that whoever you choose is a good fit for your business and you. There should be a good synergy and energy between you – working together from a position of trust.

Rebecca Hill of HaslerHill Consulting has a background of working with global professional and financial services organisations and currently provides services to companies of all sizes specialising in facilitation and event curation. Additional to her principal consultancy role with HaslerHill Consulting she runs her own consultancy Wise Sherpa specialising supplying Coaching, Mentoring and Advisory services to SMEs, Start-ups, Scale Ups, Entrepreneurs and those transitioning from a corporate role to self employment.  For more information please contact Rebecca via phone at +44 (0)7860 805528 or use the contact form off this website.